A Better Chance Host Parents are a keystone of our program. Each student is matched with a Simsbury host family during his entire stay in Simsbury. These families have a son in the same grade as the ABC Student. The families open their homes and hearts to our students each year. They commit to welcoming our young men into their homes and into their lives for one evening and one full weekend each month. Through the host family, each student has a “home away from home” and another chance to be a part of the Simsbury community. Many students and families develop important, life-long relationships with their host families. The generous gift of time and caring given by our host families is fundamental to the success of our A Better Chance students.
Our current host families are The Arenas, The Barnards, The Butlers, The Lechs, The Palmers, and The Wildmans.
Become a Host Family
ABC students live in the house located on Hopmeadow Street with the Resident Directors and the Resident Tutors. The students spend one weekday evening and a weekend each month with a host family who lives in Simsbury and has a son the same age as the ABC student. Whether raking leaves, finishing homework, or attending an event at the high school, the ABC students participate in whatever the host family is doing.
The host families support each other by taking in a student when another family needs to be away for a weekend and by attending bi-annual meetings to exchange information. ABC students return to their homes for long weekends and vacations.
Give your family and an ABC student the gift of a lifetime by being a host family.
Host Family Requirements
- Each host family has a son attending Simsbury High School who is in the same grade as the ABC scholar.
- Adults living in the host family home must have background checks.
- Each host family is asked to be available to host their ABC student during the school year for the four years that the student attends Simsbury High School. Hosting involves one weekend per month (Friday evening through Sunday evening) and one dinner per month on a Wednesday evening from 5PM until 8-9PM.
- The dates for host family weekends and dinners are set prior to the start of each school year. In the event that host parents are out of town during a scheduled host family weekend or dinner and there will not be another responsible adult in the home, the host parents contact the Host Family Coordinator. An alternate host family will be found for that weekend or dinner.
- Host parents are also asked to attend two evening host family meetings per year and the annual dinner for ABC student and their families, staff, and volunteers.
- ABC students return home for summers and school vacations.
- In the event of an unanticipated move or other family circumstances, Simsbury ABC will find another host family for the ABC student. However, at the outset, the host family’s intention should be to commit to the full four years.
- Financial support: Simsbury ABC scholars receive an allowance. Host families are not required to contribute money to their lives outside the home. However, host families will certainly spend money on their students whether on a meal out a restaurant with the family or to purchase tickets to an event the family is attending. Beyond that, purchases, including gifts, should be modest. Any significant purchases should be discussed with the Host Family Coordinator or Resident Directors.
- Active involvement in academics, extracurricular activities and the college application process: The Resident Directors, Resident Tutor, Academic Advisor and ABC Board members and volunteers oversee these aspects of each student’s life. However, ABC students welcome their host parents’ help as sounding boards and advisors. In addition, host parents should share any pertinent information and concerns with the Resident Directors and the Host Family Coordinator.
- Activities of ABC Student: Host Families are not expected to entertain the ABC student. Rather, he should be integrated in family activities and treated the same as host family children in regards to chores, free time, computer use, bedtime, curfews, etc.
- Specific parenting style: ABC students learn to fit in and learn from each family’s style. In addition to having them follow family rules, host parents should hold their ABC students to the standards set by the Simsbury ABC program. These rules are outlined in a Student Handbook and are shared with host families.
For more information, contact Susan and Hal Sizer at (860) 658-4311.